Jill Stein plans next steps for ‘unhappy campers’ as Wisconsin’s recount costs less than $3.9 million estimate

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MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin’s presidential recount, which produced very few changes to the Election Night tally, is on pace to cost about half of the original $3.9 million estimate.

With 69 of the 72 counties reporting, the actual cost is a little more than $1.8 million, according to data provided to FOX6 News by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Green Party candidate Jill Stein paid $3.5 million up front for the recount and would be in line for a refund from the state.

"(What to do with the surplus) will be decided by all of the donors," Stein said during an interview in Milwaukee, before a scheduled Tuesday rally in Madison. "We intend to fund ongoing efforts, like in Wisconsin, the effort to ensure we have legislative reforms so we’re not voting on tamper-friendly machines."

On Monday, Stein left open the possibility of filing a lawsuit against Wisconsin if state officials didn't implement changes such as automatic hand-recounts in close races.

Presidential recount

Fifty-six counties overestimated their recount costs, while 13 underestimated, according to the Elections Commission data.

CLICK HERE to view the election recount estimates, actual cost

Iron County was the closest to its estimate – the recount cost just 69 cents more than the $700 predicted in the tiny northern Wisconsin municipality. In Oneida County, election officials expected the recount would cost $178,000 but reported actual costs of just $9,117.62.

Milwaukee County reported preliminary actual costs of $287,782.53, about half of its original $536,734.14 estimate. Waukesha County predicted $278,978 and came in at $267,271.25.

Kenosha, Brown and Pierce counties have not yet reported, but Elections Administrator Mike Haas said he expects their final numbers this week. Combined, clerks in the three counties had expected the recount to cost around $500,000.


State elections officials promised to reimburse the Stein campaign if the recount ended up costing less than the estimate provided by the county clerks. The recount finished in mid-December, but the Elections Commission gave clerks time to submit costs for mileage, recount volunteers, overtime and other expenses.

The recount showed President-elect Donald Trump won Wisconsin by 131 more votes than his winning margin over Democrat Hillary Clinton on Election Night.

Stein said she scheduled Tuesday's rally in Madison because "we have a lot of unhappy campers out there" about the election process. She cidn't visit Wisconsin during the recount.

Jill Stein

Jill Stein

"During the recount – it’s not as though I would’ve been an extra pair of hands here," Stein said. "There were thousands of volunteers, and we had three states in which we were running recounts."

Wisconsin was the only state to finish a statewide recount. Courts halted a similar process in Michigan and blocked a recount from starting in Pennsylvania.

Stein said the process was not an accurate check on the Wisconsin voting system.

"The system is just full of holes," Stein said. "Almost half the votes were so-called 'recounted' by inserting them into these very fallible machines that are wide open to human error, machine error, hacking and tampering."

Twenty-one counties, including Milwaukee and Waukesha, used machines to recount at least some of their ballots. Clerks who relied on machines said it would simply take too long to hand-count every ballot.


Some Republicans have called for changes to state law, seeking to prohibit future recount requests from candidates like Stein, who finished a distant fourth place in Wisconsin's presidential race.

"Recounts are not for candidates. Recounts are for voters," Stein responded. And recounts should be automatic if races are extremely close or if there are red flags for tampering or hacking or corruption of the vote," Stein said.



  • 2017willbebetter

    Keep the $ as non-refundable and use it for the homeless shelters, the VA, food pantry, human society, gosh the list is endless. Thanks, Jill. Best wishes in 2017 to you.

    • theylltakeyourguns

      Yes, use it to fund those programs that Trumputin and Scottie will be canceling in 2017. Our veterans will need that money, once congress defunds the VA. Or maybe the homeless could use it, now that more people will lose their homes after going bankrupt trying to pay medical bills. The list goes on and on…

      • Buster

        Just to comment on your ignorance, Trump supports Putin because the US under Obama is trying to install another oil pipeline in the Middle east through Syria. This is shameful and show the US is trying to put a dent on Russian influence in the Middle East and Putin is trying to stop this from happening and Trump knows it and agrees with Putin. The groups in Syria that the Obama campaign are supporting are probably no better than the existing regime. Haven’t you seen this before in other countries?
        Walker did the right thing in putting an end to the teacher stranglehold on taxpayers by asking them to pay for a fraction of the benefits that regular people have to pay much more for. Walker cut programs to get this state back on financial track after Doyle absolutely destroyed it. How would you have balanced a budget here?
        Liberals want to spend more with no evidence that more money will solve problems. Funds may be cut in some areas but it balances the budget and forces people to work harder to achieve the desired results. Lean and mean so to speak.
        If you think Obama has been concerned with veterans and the VA, you are delusional. Obama has been destroying this country with his dictatorship evidenced in his executive orders. So much for free healthcare as well!!

      • Hell in a Handbasket

        She’ll give it to tammy baldwin’s 2018 reelection because you libs talk a lot about helping the poor, the veterans………and have little to show for your squandering of other people’s money.

  • Mayor's Claw Hand

    Give it up your scum liberal hag, use that money on plastic surgery and try and wrangle yourself a man who might be able to straighten you out.

  • 2017willbebetter

    “The system is just full of holes,” Stein said. “Almost half the votes were so-called ‘recounted’ by inserting them into these very fallible machines that are wide open to human error, machine error, hacking and tampering.” How? How? How? I think Jill is full of holes. Get over it. Hillary lost and Donald won. She just didn’t bring it for the working people. Donald did. The people carrying signs “not my president” remind me of the bitter children who do not accept the new mom or dad in a relationship. Well, you are living in the USA so you must accept it, obey the laws, and get along just as you would when you get a new mom or dad. You live in their house you abide by their rules. You do not like it-get out. To cause mayhem, civil disobedience, tie up roadways, etc is against the law. You preach tolerance, well then practice it. The working people have been tolerant for 8 years-of freedom of speech, religion, common sense, outrageous business taxes and regulations, healthy job competition being infringed upon. Your turn.

  • Walter Dukes

    Donald Trump did not win the election they are cheater and they try to play it off on the Russian. The Russian had notitting do with our elections they think we are that dumb. The fix was in on these elections.

  • Ghost of the Gipper

    Liberal waste at it’s best. Spend spend spend whilst ordinary hard working Americans get the blood sucked out of them by liberal leeches.

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